First Things First: What Is a Coloring Journal
Before moving on to the creation process, you need to know a few basic stuff.
Look before you leap for as you sow, ye are like to reap. ~Samuel Butler
First, what is a coloring journal?
It’s a low content book that has both coloring and journaling components or features. For coloring, incorporate line art or designs to give users time to color. This is to encourage alone time for reflection, meditation or musings. For journaling, have spaces for prompts that may be in any of the following forms:
- directions or instructions
- checklist section
- to-do list
- doodle page
- and others that would “prompt” people to write.
In my Gratitude Coloring Journal, I included coloring pages with gratitude quotes. Here are a few examples:
You may also visit Openclipart, a public domain site with lots of FREE royalty-free and copyright-free line art to choose from.
Look what I found!
Another great option is to have coloring designs already incorporated in your journal pages. The video shows a set that I created for my shop:
Second, what does a coloring journal look inside and out?
At the bare minimum, low content books could only have a simple front and back cover (with or without a design), copyright page and blank pages. That’s for a sketchbook. Add solid or dotted lines to the blank pages and you have a notebook.
A coloring journal, though also a low content book, has more components than that.
Let’s have a look at what constitutes a coloring journal.
- Subtitle (optional)
- Author name
- Blurb for back cover (optional)
- Featured images for the back (optional)
- ISBN (optional)
- Background – design, photo, texture, colored (optional)
- Copyright page
- Author name
- Author biography (optional)
- Promotional links (optional)
- Dedication page (optional)
- Introduction (optional)
- Instructions (optional)
- Supplies/materials (optional)
- Coloring pages
- Journaling pages
- Dividers (optional)
- Blank pages (optional)
Marketing Page (optional)
- Books (optional)
- Shops (optional)
- Website (optional)
- Social media (optional)
The optional parts are nice to have but not necessary. They add more personality, richness, and value to your coloring journal. However, it’s all up to you. If you have the energy, patience and time for them, go for it!
In summary, you only need four elements for your coloring journal:
- copyright section
- coloring pages
- journaling pages.
You may even combine the last two.
Third, what resources do you need to create your coloring journal?
If you’re creating your coloring pages, you need the following:
- Blank paper for drawing
- Photo editor such as Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, Paint
- Vectorizer such as Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape and Vector Magic (optional)
- Notebook for writing
For your journaling prompts, you need to determine the format of your prompts (as detailed earlier) and create them accordingly.
Here are options on how to generate journaling prompts:
- Mine your brain. There are lots there for sure. You don’t even have to think hard.
- Search the internet. There are tons out there. Go, ask Google.
- Ask a family member or friend. They are a great resource.
- Browse books on your topic. Check out the table of contents.
- Check out journals on your topic for inspiration. It’s hard to say “don’t copy” because you probably have the same idea as others. There are standard questions like “What are you grateful for?” or “3-5 things you are thankful for.” If you want to be on the safe side, modify the questions or say them differently.
- Try PLR or ready-to-use content. In my last post on creating coloring journals, I’ll present a number of PLR providers you could go to.
Then, turn them into pages with the use of software such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft PowerPoint. You may also try Open Office or Libre Office for their free, open source word processing appliation.
Fourth, what processes do you have to do to come up with your pages?
I went through three major processes for creating my coloring journal.
1) Creating the Coloring Pages
For the coloring pages, you’ll have to go through the following:
- Clean up
- Test printing
I did all the coloring pages for my 31- Day Gratitude Coloring Journal previously so I saved on time.
(Note: If you don’t have the expertise, patience nor time to create your own coloring pages, simply use creative PLR, public domain images, stock photo or outsource.)
2) Creating the Journal Pages
Determine the timeframe that your coloring journal would cover. Mine was 31 days.
For each day, I had a divider with space for the date, musings, and special gratitude quotation. I had 3 other pages for 6 more prompts that looked the same and kept repeating over 31 days.
Here’s how they look:
You may present differently.
I used Microsoft Word to combine all the pages for the 31-Day Gratitude Coloring Journal.
Now that you’re done with all your pages, it’s time to put them all together in one document. A simple process is:
- Prepare a checklist of what your coloring page should contain;
- Gather all your files based on your checklist;
- Prepare your word processing or presentation software to integrate all pieces together;
- Add all components in;
- Save your document into the format of your desired software PLUS PDF format;
- Test print;
- Review the overall content and presentation;
- Enhance or redo, if needed;
- Save to its final format.
Once you’re satisfied with how your document looks, you’re done and ready to use it or share it to the world.
Why Create Your Own Coloring Journal
You now have a picture of what a coloring journal is, but is that knowledge enough to compel you to create your own coloring journal?
Why go to great lengths to make one and not just buy it?
In this age when you can easily have a physical copy done on demand, wouldn’t you be proud of having a coloring journal with your name, brand or label on it?
It can be on any topic such as:
With your printed, branded coloring journal, you can do the following:
- Personal gift. For starters, gift it to people who are special to you – family, friends, lover, neighbor.
- Goodwill. How about giving a complimentary copy to business associates, clients or prospects?
- Promotion. For business presentations, bring copies along to show participants. It would make them happy to have a copy of your coloring journal plus they’ll think always of you when working on it.
- Publishing career. Surely, if you could create one, you can create more and then build it up towards a career or business in publishing.
- Income. If you want an added income stream, put it up for sale at CreateSpace, Amazon, Etsy and other distribution channels.
You sure can add to the list depending on your goals.
Why not start it as a hobby then transition towards being an author and publisher?
Up to you.
Up next is Part 2, which shows you a 10-step process for creating your coloring journals.
Here are the succeeding posts: